According to the British Museum, the Apis Bull was unusual in ancient Egypt, in that it wasn't a type of sacred animal, like the ibis or the cat, but rather an animal incarnation of a god. According to researcher Andrew Gough, the Apis Bull was similar to the Dalai Lama: there was only one at a time, and when the Bull died, his priests undertook a search for his new incarnation.
The Apis Bull was identifiable because of his particular markings. Herodotus wrote in his Histories of the bull:
The Apis is the calf of a cow which is never afterwards able to have another. The Egyptian belief is that a flash of light descends upon the cow from heaven, and this causes her to conceive Apis. The Apis-calf has distinctive marks: it is black, with a white square on its forehead, the image of an eagle on its back, the hair on its tail double, and a scarab under its tongue.While Greek writers associated the Bull with the god Osiris, modern research argues that during his life, the Bull was the incarnation of Ptah, the creator. The Bull was venerated and well cared for during his lifetime. Priests watched it carefully, since its every movement was a potential message from the god. During the Festival of the Apis Bull, the Bull's keepers paraded him through the streets. If a child smelled his breath, he or she would receive the gift of fortelling the future.
Andrew Gough links the Bull's white blaze to the blazing star Aldebaran in the forehead of the constellation Taurus. The centre of the forehead is the location of the seventh chakra or "third eye," associated with intuition and spiritual insight.